As long as there are days that end in “y” and Kawhi Leonard remains unsigned, speculation of where he might end up will be rampant. Being as quiet and enigmatic as Kawhi is, it’s difficult to get a gauge of what’s going through his head. There’ve been plenty of rumors of teams he’s going to meet with, but there only seem to be a few real contenders. While Kawhi staying put in Toronto is a real possibility, rumors of him jumping ship are starting to gain heat. Below we’re going to through teams that would be the best fit for him if he were to leave the Raptors.
Los Angeles Lakers
Whether or not Kawhi Leonard actually wants to be a Laker will finally be known soon. Ever since it was found out that he wanted out of San Antonio, speculation of Kawhi donning the purple and gold has been everywhere. That speculation will come to end once Kawhi makes his final decision on who he wants to sign with. On the basketball side, it makes sense. The Lakers just made enough cap space to afford to give him a max contract. He’d join two of the best players in the NBA in Anthony Davis and LeBron James. That would give the Lakers arguably three of the best five players in the NBA. Fox Sports radio host Colin Cowherd said that if the Lakers added Kawhi, they would have “the greatest collection of talent ever.” It’s hard to argue with that considering the credentials of all three superstars. It’s hard to imagine any team being able to stop the Lakers in the playoffs with that roster.
Kawhi is from southern California so he’d be able to come back to his home and also win multiple championships. The problem is: whose team would it be? LeBron, Davis and Kawhi have all been the top guy on their teams. The talent discrepancy between the three players is minimal. It’s hard to imagine that all three of them will have the amount of impact they want. LeBron is on the backend of his career so if he could take a step back and let Davis and Leonard share the limelight, it could work well for the Lakers. Also, LeBron probably only has a few years left so once he leaves, it will be Kawhi’s team. Davis is great, but Kawhi plays a more premium position in today’s NBA. If Kawhi can put the ego aside and accept that he won’t be the biggest name on the team, the Lakers will have a dynasty in the making.
Los Angeles Clippers
Joining the Clippers could be the best of both worlds scenario for Kawhi. He’ll be back in southern California and he won’t be playing third fiddle to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The recent rumors that Kevin Durant or Jimmy Butler may be willing to team up with him there definitely makes it more interesting. Despite not having a huge star on the roster last season, the Clippers played extremely well. Doc Rivers is a highly regarded coach and owner Steve Balmer has endless money. The Clippers are definitely not the most flashy franchise and the Lakers will always own Los Angeles, a Kawhi and Durant pairing is just as good as the Anthony Davis and LeBron pairing. Plus, it’ll have more longevity because LeBron only has so many years left in the tank.
It would be unbelievable to see Kawhi, Durant, LeBron and Davis all play in the same building, even if they are not all on the same team. Kawhi to the Clippers would give L.A. two separate title contenders and would keep the league more interesting. Kawhi on the Lakers would probably make them too good and would take a lot of the drama out of the league.
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Kyrie Irving isn’t going back to Boston, but the Celtics already replaced him with Kemba Walker based on a report. The Celtics would have to move some things around to afford Kawhi, but a corps of Kawhi, Kemba and Jason Tatum would make the team one of the most talented in the NBA. Apparently, they wish they traded for him last season. Perhaps the Celtics can surprise everybody and right a past wrong by adding Kawhi as a free agent. While Kawhi’s heart seems to be in L.A., the Celtics have the talent, the coach and the front office to get the Clippers and Lakers a run for their money. With the addition of Walker, Kawhi would fit seamlessly into the Celtic lineup and he’d still be playing in the much easier Eastern conference while not having to live in a different country. Kemba is a really solid player, but there’s no doubting whose team it would be if Kawhi moved to Boston.